Grammar in Today’s Classroom

I recently came across an article where the author was talking about how so many people today use two spaces after a period. It reminded me of my typing days as the typewriter was the impetus for this habit developing. It also highlighted for me how careless we are becoming about correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. The increased use of the written word in SMS, social networking and similar casual conversation has made us immune to mistakes.

What bothers me about this is that the new generation no longer “knows” which is right and which is wrong. The article was talking about people who strongly believe that it is right (today) to use two spaces after a period. I  am sure that there are many students today who believe that “ur” is an acceptable spelling or that it’s okay to spell someone’s name without capitalizing the first letter. When writing formal correspondence, will this generation continue using incorrect grammar or punctuation.?

While I’d never want to discourage students by filling up their assignments with red marks, it may be worth doing so to encourage students to use formal English in their communications and assignments. Perhaps students with no mistakes would receive a prize or a privilege. Another strategy could be to build editing skills by asking students to correct a poorly punctuated pieces of writing.

While understanding the subject matter may be the primary goal in teaching, I believe that it is still important for students to be able to write “right.”

Are grammar, spelling and punctuation errors common in your classroom?

Thanks go out to Sarah and Barbara and others for the feedback and corrective editing of this post (indicated above in red text)!

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One Response to “Grammar in Today’s Classroom”
  1. Sarah M says:

    After reading your message, I felt compelled to respond. You stated that having two spaces after a period is not correct. However, the MLA handbook states that while it is now more common to have only one space, it is not wrong to have two spaces. Also, you had two errors in your message– a missing question mark after the word punctuation and an extra “s” near the bottom. I wholeheartedly agree that we should expect our students to learn how to write correctly and appreciate the fact that you are encouraging us all to think about how our technology is affecting the writing of our students. Thank you–

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